Seared hand dived Scallop from the outer Hebrides, bonito butter, herring roe

Peter McKenna

Peter McKenna

20th February 2019
Peter McKenna

Seared hand dived Scallop from the outer Hebrides, bonito butter, herring roe

When we are able to get hold of large scallops, we like to serve them simply with a sauce to embellish them.

Sometimes we swap the smokey bonito with a mackerel stock made from the smoked bones.

The herring roe brings an almost peppery brine to the dish and works perfectly with the sweet nutty roasted scallop.


  • 4 scallops in the shell
  • 300ml bonito stock
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 30g herring roe
  • 1g xanthan gum
  • Neutral oil for cooking
  • Unsalted butter for cooking
  • Lemon
  • Sea salt


To prepare the scallops, shuck them, discard the skirt and sack, trim the roe and scallop muscle.
Keep the bottom half of the shell , boil in water for 10 minutes, store for serving.
Wash and pat dry ensuring no grit or silt is left on the flesh, refrigerate.
To make the brine, for every 100ml water add 6 g salt, dissolve the salt by heating the liquid, cool before adding the scallops.
Brine for 15 minutes, then rinse under cold water and dry before storing in the refrigerator until cooking.
To make the bonito butter sauce, bring the stock to the boil.
Dice the chilled butter into small cubes.
Add the butter to the stock whisking continuously, when all the butter is combined add the xanthan gum and whisk vigorously.
Zest half the lemon and to the sauce, season with fresh lemon juice and salt.
Leave to stand for 10 mins then pass.
Cook the scallop in a hot pan with the neutral oil until starting to colour, add some cubes of diced butter and bring to foaming stage, baste the scallops in the foaming butter added more chilled butter when required, cook until still opaque in the centre.
Rest for a minute before serving.
Blend enough sauce for four shells with a hand blender add the roe after then the scallops, serve.
Serve in the shell, if you like, a bowl would work suitable well also.

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